Have you ever felt like on the outside you’re serving your heart out for Jesus, but on the inside your faith is dry?
I certainly have. It is so easy to fall into the trap of replacing your relationship with Jesus with a relationship with your ministry role. In a recent sermon I called this kind of scenario a “Faith Placebo”: a faith activity like worship, good behavior, or service that makes you feel like you have a relationship with God, but in fact is not effective at drawing you close to Jesus. Jesus spoke of this very kind of think in Matthew 7:24-27 in the parable of the wise and foolish builders.
It is vitally important that we as ministers of the Gospel stay connected to the True Vine, Jesus (John 15:1-7). The reason is spelled out in Galatians 5:16-17:
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
If we do not walk by the Spirt, then we run the risk of following the desires of our sinful nature. These desires may even mask themselves as good things. Paul had an opportunity to preach the Gospel in Asia and Bithynia in Acts 16:6-8. By all human calculation it was a perfect place for him to go next. But, the Spirit has something else in mind, and forbade Paul from going there at the time. God had already worked out his perfect timing. It was up to Paul to obey.
May I encourage you and your teams to walk by the Spirit. This involves:
- Pursuing your own individual discipleship
- Attending worship regularly
- Establishing patterns within your team to submit yourselves to the Lord (such as gathering for prayer before any meeting begins)
Several teams such as QKids already have it established that we expect leaders to gather together for prayer 15 minutes before each service. What practices does your team have in place to walk by the Spirit?
Do you, personally, feel dry inside? Has it been a long time since you had an intentional time with God? Do not feel ashamed! We all find ourselves in this state at times. Instead, please talk to someone for encouragement. I, personally, would love to walk alongside you in your discipleship journey. After all, is not closeness with Jesus what we’re all about?